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How lockdown has impacted our fitness routines

Now that the lockdown restrictions have been eased, people can form workout partners. Picture: Supplied.

Now that the lockdown restrictions have been eased, people can form workout partners. Picture: Supplied.

Published Nov 12, 2021


Usually, in spring, more people show off their “summer bodies'' after spending most of their winter working out. However, while some managed to shed some weight, others gained a bit.

Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on the fitness industry, especially the fitness routines of South Africans. When lockdown started, people were eager to do home workouts, but as time went on, most lost interest.

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Professional athlete Protas Mbambo says that the biggest challenge he faced was staying indoors and training alone. “It was so boring at times but, as a professional fitness athlete, I had no choice but to train and continue to up my game.”

Let's look at the other ways the pandemic affected fitness routines.

Work-from-home means more active people

Many people are working from home, which resulted in a lack of movement. While some spare a few minutes to exercise, others seldom move from their working desks.

Adam Deane, a callisthenics expert, says bad habits were formed over the hard lockdown, from being stuck inside and eating more than he usually would.

“Training at home was the only way to stay fit, but as things have slowly opened up, training outside and seeing other people training has been fantastic.”

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Lowered fitness levels

Unlike before, fitness levels have decreased during lockdown.

Deane adds that with the demands of work, personal life, working from home, and the virus itself, he had little energy to exercise and had to push harder. “I didn’t work as hard as I did for 20 years to throw it away in a year, but it was tough”.

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Exercise for mental health support

People’s mental health has been tested in the past 18 months. Athlete Yusuf Jajbhay says it is best to move the body for 30 minutes a day in order to lower stress levels.

“My fitness definitely took a knock, but when I eventually got back into the flow of my training, it helped me cope better with the situation.”

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Pro tip: Try a skipping rope and stretch for 15 minutes to loosen your muscles.